tv [untitled] May 16, 2012 7:00am-7:30am PDT
>> million can hear me. i want to welcome everyone to one of the newest parts of district 5, the famous county fair building. yay. [laughs] [applause] thank you all for coming in participating in this meeting today. i am excited to have all of you here today in my district to speak about issues that concern you. san francisco is a world-class city because we had citizens like yourselves who are vocal and willing to put in the work in the hours to make the community better. i want to thank you all for being here and giving us your input. i want to thank mayor lee and his staff for helping to put this together with dominica and chris of my staff did not like to introduce a district 1 supervisor and a dear friend of mine. we share a lot of the same values. i am very happy to be sharing this form with him today.
that is supervisor eric mar. [applause] >> thank you, supervisor olague. thank you, everyone, for being here. this used to be part of district 1. with the redistricting process, and there is a commissioner in the front row, but it is now district 5. we share the park. all of us are stewards of it. the general manager acknowledges this as well. carmen chu is here as well from the board of supervisors. [applause] also, many leaders from the richmond district that our office's work closely with over the years, you'll hear from them a little bit later we hope that the budget process will be one that is very sensitive and transparent, especially fair for our communities. district 1, the richmond district, and the other neighborhoods of district 1 feel strongly that seniors and the
aging population of our district are critical, part of the critical safety net. we have a number of speakers that will be speaking later. nick and linda from the golden gate senior service center. seniors in our aging population is critical. also, for transportation and transit needs, we have a leader from the sierra club in the richmond district. sue is on our committee for a transit as well. i want to acknowledge that children and families are critical to the nature of the richmond district. i am happy to be working closely with the richmond district neighborhood center and the staff there. they will make remarks later. the community-based organizations, the schools, the parks, and the many neighborhood clubs and organizations in the richmond feel strongly that our district has a tremendous needs. we hope in this bridges -- we
hope in this budget process we will bring those needs out and advocate for them on a citywide level. i want to thank everyone for being here in the former part of district 1, but also for you do think about the immigrant families, not just chinese but also russian-speaking in the diversity of families and seniors and others. now it is my great honor to introduce an activist who i met in a chinatown 20 years ago. as a civil-rights leader. now i am very proud to say he is the mayor of san francisco, california. this is our major, edwin lee. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, supervisor. thank you to supervisor mar and supervisor olague and of course supervisor chu. it is very important that we have this input from all of you tonight. tonight, those of you who have used your precious time to come out, we're here to listen to
you. we made a promise that we would be a much more open government, that we would make sure in our decision making that it reflected important input from all of our communities. as you go, i've been trying very hard, and i think we have been relatively successful in making sure that our budget process really is reflective of a neighborhood priorities. tonight, i am not here alone. i am here not only with members of the board of supervisors, we're also here with a hole that the of representatives and department heads from various city departments and have dedicated their professional lives to improving service for our city. i am so happy to be with them because i know they work very hard. i get to work with all of them for many years, and i know that they have the very heart and they want this city to improve. they want the best level of services. we're one of those very lucky cities to have a number of
departments, but rich in our services to our residents. i hope we can continue that improvement even when there are cuts faced in our state level and cuts based in our federal levels. tonight, it is very important that we get your input. while there will be introductions from our various departments, i want to make sure you know the bulk of the time is going to be listening to you. i want to begin by thanking our office and civic engagement and immigrant affairs. they are here tonight to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak their mind, no matter what language, culture. but they are here from district 5 and district 1. they are very important. clearly, we have been doing these public budget town halls for some time now. this is the fourth of five that we're committed to. on saturday, we conclude with an additional two districts to round out.
we have been taking extensive notes to make sure that these ideas and these concerns -- and we're very sensitive to all the concerns. but you also know that we still have years of deficit. but they are not as bad as previous years. we're not willing, and we cannot use the word surplus yet, but hopefully in our lifetimes and, hopefully in our future there is a strong possibility that our recovery will be ended and we will see even better times. but that takes a lot of discipline in our budgetary process. it takes a strong encouragement that our city's road to recovery has a lot to do with investor confidence. i have been talking a lot about innovation in our city, bringing jobs back, having those jobs be
touching everyone in our city, no matter if you are from bayview or ared5 or d1, chinatown, richmond, or sunset. everyone has to feel they are involved in our economic recovery, and only then will we feel we have the satisfaction of having a complete budget. but right now, it is only a partial budget. because this coming fiscal year, we're still about $170 million in the deficit. we see a way out on that, but it will be sensitive to what we can fund. and then the following year, as you recall, we now have a two- year budget, so budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 is also a legal obligation that we must balance as well. and that year, the budget deficit is about $312 million in deficit, so these are serious in numbers, once we have not figured out yet. but if we listen to you tonight,
we take that under consideration along with our legal obligations, we hope to present to the board a budget that is balanced but also sensitive to community needs, sensitive to needs of our seniors, needs of our families, needs of our youth, needs of neighborhoods, as well as making sure we fund transportation, make sure we have adequate funds to help our school systems that keep getting threatens with the state cuts, and all the other needs that you have identified. i think we are a pretty sensitive city when it comes to fulfilling these needs. i just want to make sure your note that we ask for your involvement -- make sure you know that we ask for your involvement, and we ask that you support innovative ideas and solutions to our budget. and at the end of the day, we want to make sure that our city
is investment-friendly. because the way out, ladies and gentlemen, budget deficit years is never to depend upon the state that has no good news for us. they never have good news. it is all about how they can fill the abyss of the state deficit. the federal government has signaled they have some funds, this presidential year they are not giving away anything. because they cannot have a good dialogue at the federal level with the presidential election going on. everything is politicized. knowing that, we have to depend upon our own economy and our own recovery. that says that i have to pay attention to good levels of tourism in the city, good levels of health care industry, because they are like our number two employment in our city, and then of course, in fighting technology and biotech and life sciences to establish -- inviting technology and biotech
and life sciences to our city. we want returning veterans and people in mid-career is to come as much as possible to san francisco. involvement, innovation, and investment. that is what we want to emphasize for the next two years budget whileevery commun'. with that, i will turn the microphone over to our supervisors and it sure we get everybody introduced that is here on behalf of the city. thank you for coming out and spend your precious time with us. [applause] >> as the mayor mentioned, in addition to me, supervisor mar, the mayor, we have several department heads who are here who are here to listen to your concerns. i will introduce them at this time. i would beg to introduce a car led johnson from the mayor's office of disability.
regina from small businessolson lee, mayor's office of housing. henry alvarez, housing authority. monique at the comptroller's. barbara garcia from the department of public health. cindy from the budget office. naomi kelly, at par city administrator -- our city administrator. philip ginsburg, parks and representative. ed reiskin. maria, department of children, youth, and families.
so you have a sense of who we all are. if there is time after, please engage some of us. we will be around, if you want more in-depth conversation. certainly, if you would like meetings with any of us, feel free to contact our offices. we are definitely open to that. thank you. i want to introduce the moderator henry kelly at this time. henne kelly, i'm sorry. >> she is one of the most dynamic richmond activists, a longtime teacher, and acted with the seniors in the district. >> and i work with christine daily at senior action network. >> who knew? >> i am a richmond district
resident, i have been for 35 years. this is one of the most beautiful parts of the park. i am so happy to be here. this is a very nicely planned events, and most of the time, they say there will be listening to you, but let me go over the rules. we realize not everyone will be able to speak tonight, but we will compile all the information from the board. you all have blue cards were you can write down what you want to ask, and then there will be queued to pick that up. you can hold up your card and people will come around. there is also a series of budget hearing before the budget and finance committee. in order to have an effective meeting, we want to lay out a few ground rules to help guide the conversation. as a teacher, i understand that. you have to stay on subject. all ideas and perspectives will
be heard. all of us will be respectful of one another. we are going to speak when that time. we have translation equipment. what do they do? it it -- is it over there in the back? ok, i see them. first, so you know where we are, we will have a budget overview by cindy. >> good evening, everyone. thanks for having us. i will be giving just a quick buck -- budget overview of where we are at in our budget plan for the year. these are very high tech, as you can see. we have in the city of san francisco a $6.8 billion budget. that was our adopted budget last
year. to put that in context, about 52% of our budget is what we call enterprise funds. there is our funds were there is a dedicated revenue source that can use -- be used for certain expenses. for example, your water bill can only be used to pay for the expenses it takes to get water to your tap. when we are talking about the general fund, 48% of the $6.8 billion, that is our general fund. that is what we think of as our more discretionary revenues. it is like if you were to have a small business, you would not mix your household expenses with your small business. you would keep those separate, keep your own bank account and your businesses bank account. that is how we think about the distinction between our enterprise fund and general fund. when we are talking about our deficit today, we are talking
about a deficit in the general fund. the $170 million number, the $312 million number that the mayor spoke of earlier, that is the general fund deficit. $170 million out of our $3.5 billion budget, not the whole 6.8. that is important to keep in mind. what do we spend our money on, what we spend the general fund money on? we spend a lot of things and services and make sure that we need the community need. we spend a large portion of community and public health in our human services agency. we spend general fund money on public safety so our police and fire departments can operate. we spend it on streets and infrastructure as well. dpw, street cleaning, street repair, capital investments, our rec and park.
it is all funded by the general fund -- well, mostly. where do we get our money from? generally, from everybody here, from the residence. we get most of our money from our taxes, so property taxes, business taxes from the business community, payroll taxes from the business community, hotel taxes. visitors to the city help us maintain the city by contributing to hotel taxes. so the bulk of the revenue comes from tax as we all pay. we also get a lot of money from the federal government and state government. they support, in a very large part, our health and human services agency and our department of public health, but they also support our public safety and other components. finally, we also get revenue from you all in another form, when you make a payment for a service or a payment for a
class or if you go to pay a permit or planning fee because you have renovations on your home. that money also comes back to the city. those are that the components of where we get our money. the problem is -- and i think you understand this -- is that we are not getting as much money as we are spending. we have a growing revenue this year, which is great. our city economy is seeing a bit of a recovery. and that of an uptick in revenues. we're definitely not in the dire situation we have experienced in the past. the problem is we have more expenditure pressures that we do revenue. expenditures are growing faster than revenues. i think some of you can relate to this, too. it is as if we made it out of the hard times and you got home and you got a small boost in your paycheck only to go home and find out that you got a letter from a health insurance
company that they are raising rates. or you go to the gas station and you realize prices have gone up dramatically. you go to buy groceries and you realize that has gotten more expensive, too. that is the same situation that the city's experiencing. we have pressures on our costs that are rising faster than our revenues, even though they are getting better. what that means is, as the mayor said, we have $170 million of a gap between our revenues and expenditures next year. without any serious policy changes, that means we have a $312 million gap in the second year after that. this year, for the first time, our -- we are legally required to submit a balanced two-year budget. over the two years, we need to find $480 million to balance both years of our budget. it is a little difficult but it
is definitely for the long-term health of the city, it is going to hopefully provide some stability to the city, so that as we keep doing these two-year budgets we can keep getting away from what we've experienced in the past two years, these dramatic downturns and upturns, and we can have a more stable budget. what are our goals in the next few weeks and months at the mayor's office and board of supervisors negotiate and balance the budget? our goal is first of all to balance the budget. importantly, we want to balance it by investing in the priorities and values that are important to san franciscans. we are here to listen to you today so that we can take your input and understand the value better, and values and priorities of the city. we are hoping to be innovative in the way we approach this new challenge of a two-year budget,
and we want to listen to you, so thank you. [applause] >> thank you. some good news and some bad news. revenue, we're getting more revenue, but we are spending more. everybody should be understanding that only 48% of the money we have is money that is available for programs. everything else is spoken for. 50% of the pie is already spoken for. 40% of the pie everybody is fighting for. that is the way i understand it. in our house, it is the same. so what we're going to do is have speakers from district 1. they will have 10 minutes. then we will have the district 5
speakers. so, our first speaker is going to talk to you about transit -- i know i have everything here, but i cannot find it. who is speaking for transit? sue vaughn. thank you for getting out of trouble. [applause] >> hello, my name is sue vaughn. i live in the richmond district. i was appointed to the mta citizens advisory council by supervisor mar. thank you, supervisor, for appointment to that and for inviting me to participate in this event. when it comes to transit, municipal transportation agency is an enterprise agency, so it is -- there are budget discussions around the transit agency, but it is supposed to
have its own budget, that is past due balance annually. the mta already did its budget and balanced it, but there are ways the general fund budget can impact the mta. when i come to the issue of transit, on a personal level, i look at the big picture. in our current transportation system, we do not have enough money in general every year. we are cutting corners here and there in the agency. we might be cutting service, we might be raising fees. we might be raising fares. so, that is one issue -- an ongoing issue with the agency. we are also not using energy efficiently. we need to have enough money to run the system and we need to use our energy efficiently.
i bring up energy because, in the city, all of the energy we use in san francisco, including our energy to heat our houses and cut our food and drive our cars is vastly more than what we used to run our municipal transportation system. we only use 2% of the energy we use on muni. so you know we are not efficient. we can improve that. and we need to because the cost of energy is only going to go up. we need to figure out how we are going to do this. the best way is to make muni efficient, make it appealing, affordable, and help everybody get onto our municipal transportation system. we need to improve pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, we need to improve bicycle parking and
implement bike sharing. and in the richmond district -- and i think this could also be for district 5 -- we need to make it easier to do city car share, and even to rent cars. more specifically, about two years ago, we did begin to cut service, muni service, because of a budget shortfall. at this point it is time to assess those cuts to service in the richmond district. we eliminated the ocean beach and we rerouted the 18. it is time to assess those. the ocean beach line serves primarily elderly people who live out without any avenues. the 18 east to be a direct route from land's end to the
safeway, and that is gone. it is also time to assess intersections for pedestrian safety. last night i was at the intersection of 24th avenue and clement street, and i saw three incidents. they were both right across the street from each other happening at the same time. one involved a bicyclist, won a pedestrian, a few minutes later, another incident with a pedestrian. there was almost an incident with a bicyclist. they did not happen but we need to start assessing every single intersection in the city for pedestrian safety. i do not know what the metrics are for that, but we need to think about this. adding more meters, parking meters throughout the city.
these are tools for parking management. as we do this, we need to be able to tell people where we are adding the meters, that we will improve transit in specific ways to make it better for them, or we are to put more bicycle parking in or something. we need specific things that we will say to people. yes, we are where to put parking meters and, yes, you are going to pay for parking, but we are going to start with low costs and raise them incrementally and then we will improve transit and all these other thing we want to make better. for example, geary brt, we need to find out what the holdup is. i think it has the potential to be an engine for economic growth in the richmond district. i would like to see that implemented. thank you.
[applause] >> we have a lot of seniors in the richmond district. i am one of them. so we have the executive director of the golden gate senior services who will talk to us about senior needs. >> mayor lee, supervisor olague, chiu, mar, i am the director of golden gate senior services and also a senior myself. one of the programs we operate is the richmond senior center, which is out on geary boulevard between 26 and 27th ave. i appreciate the opportunity to speak with you tonight. golden gate senior services is a non-profit agency and was established 37 years ago to provide services to seniors at about half the